There was an interesting story broadcast on America's National Public
Radio this morning, about the history of networking in the USA. I'll
try and summarize...
In the beginning, with the new technology, one organization led the
way and installed basic infrastructure.
There followed a frantic period of growth where a dizzying array of
organizations rushed to install competing infrastructure.
Then came a period of consolidation, and in the end there were only a
few large firms that were able to collude to control prices for many
years, reaping enormous profits.
Right-of-way -- a place to install the infrastructure to carry
traffic -- was key. Profits accrued to those who controlled it.
Finally there were government antitrust actions, breaking up the big
oligopolists in the now mature industry into smaller firms.
Apply the history to whichever network you wish -- railroads, the
telegraph system ...
Jeff @ Washington, DC USA
AfricaLink -- http://www.info.usaid.gov/alnk